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Firewalking at Nan Thien Kwang Temple

Firewalking is a yearly ritual held on the last day of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival at the Nan Thien Kwang Temple in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Below are some photos taken during the red hot event.

Devotees offering their prayers before the start of the firewalking ceremony.

Devotees offering their prayers before the start of the firewalking ceremony.

View of the Nan Thien Kwang Temple and the devotees preparing the firewalking bed.

View of the Nan Thien Kwang Temple and the devotees preparing the firewalking bed.

The firewalking ceremony is held on the evening of the ninth day of the festival. As you can see, about 80 sacks of charcoal are used to prepare the firewalking bed, usually measures about 3.5 x 1.2 x 0.6 meters in dimension.

The firewalking ceremony is held on the evening of the ninth day of the festival. As you can see, about 80 sacks of charcoal are used to prepare the firewalking bed, usually measures about 3.5 x 1.2 x 0.6 meters in dimension.

The bed is set up in such a way that the central fire path is solidly packed with charcoal and the embers on the edges is constantly ignited with the aid of kerosene. The prepared bed is then paved with incense paper and thousands of joss sticks that when ablaze make the path looked red hot.

The bed is set up in such a way that the central fire path is solidly packed with charcoal and the embers on the edges is constantly ignited with the aid of kerosene. The prepared bed is then paved with incense paper and thousands of joss sticks that when ablaze make the path looked red hot.

Moments before the ceremony begins proper, large quantity of salt mixed with a compound known as "pingxie" is thrown into the bed along with uncooked rice and tea leaves. The salt and "pingxie" melt and smoother the embers while the rice and tea leaves burst into harmless little sparks. Can you see the phoenix/dragon raising out of the ash?

Moments before the ceremony begins proper, large quantity of salt mixed with a compound known as "pingxie" is thrown into the bed along with uncooked rice and tea leaves. The salt and "pingxie" melt and smoother the embers while the rice and tea leaves burst into harmless little sparks. Can you see the phoenix/dragon raising out of the ash?

The "nine emperor god" blessing the 4 corners of the firewalking ground.

The 'nine emperor god' blessing the four corners of the firewalking grounds.

It's no joke. The firewalking bed is really red hot. The temperature of the central walking path can go up to 1,000 °F at a minimum.

It's no joke. The firewalking bed is really red hot. The temperature of the central walking path can go up to 1,000 °F at a minimum.

Testing.

Firewalking ceremony represents the acceptance of 'Yang' for devotees. (Yin and Yang are based on Chinese philosophy of dualities in nature.)

Once the firewalking bed is prepared, the devotees will start the "cleansing procession." The procession will be led by the entranced spirit mediums.

Once the firewalking bed is prepared, the devotees will start the "cleansing procession." The procession will be led by the entranced spirit mediums.

Next in line are the bearers of 5 or 6 sedan chairs laden with idols, charm papers, jewellery and other precious objects.

Next in line are the bearers of 5 or 6 sedan chairs laden with idols, charm papers, jewellery and other precious objects.

to cross over ill luck and to usher in good luck.

Most participants of the firewalking ceremony do so with the belief: to cross over ill luck and to usher in good luck.

Symbolically, firewalking enact the victory of good over evil and mind over matter. As for the community, the act of purifying themselves over the fire represent the cleansing of all evil influences in their daily lives.

Symbolically, firewalking enact the victory of good over evil and mind over matter. As for the community, the act of purifying themselves over the fire represent the cleansing of all evil influences in their daily lives.

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